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17.04.2012

CEC Head: voting abroad according to majority system must be regulated

   

The Head of the Central Election Commission, Volodymyr Shapoval, has issued a statement regarding the judgement passed by the Constitutional Court prohibiting voters abroad from voting in single-majority constituencies. 

“The situation has arisen where, on the basis of that judgement, a fairly large number of Ukrainian citizens who have the right to vote (over 435 thousand) and are lawfully abroad, are restricted in exercising this right”

One can assume that this situation will give rise to negative assessments of the coming elections, even their being declared illegitimate.

He stresses that this situation can only be resolved through an explanation from the Constitutional Court “which would prevent restriction of the active electoral rights of the given category of citizens or through amendments to election legislation”.

Since the CEC does not have the mechanisms for resolving the issue, this being within the jurisdiction of the Constitutional Court and the Verkhovna Rada, he asks that those with such powers treat his statement as an appeal to rectify the present situation.

On Thursday 5 April the Constitutional Court announced its judgement with respect to the article of the Law on the Parliamentary Elections which indicated that in all polling stations outside Ukraine voters would case votes for single-mandate constituencies in Kyiv.  The CCU has now stated that voters abroad may only vote according to party lists.  As reported, in a decision much criticized by the Council of Europe’s Venice Commission and both international and Ukrainian NGOs working for fair elections, the parliamentary elections will take place according to the 50-50 mixed system favoured by the Party of the Regions: This is described in the Venice Commission Opinion as a mixed proportional-plurality (majoritarian) electoral system, where 50 percent of the MPs (National Deputies) are elected through political party lists in a single nationwide constituency and the other half are elected in single mandate constituencies (first past the post, one round). 

Mr Shapoval’s comments are reported by Dzerkalo Tyzhnya

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